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This Startup's Electric Crossover Is All About Touch Screens

Photo: BYTON
Photo: BYTON

Byton, one of many new electric startups in the car scene, is preparing to introduce a new crossover vehicle at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and on Tuesday, it teased out a few images of what to expect. One major focus? Touchscreens—very large touchscreens.

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Calling it an “all-new intelligent electric vehicle,” Byton’s planning to introduce the crossover on Jan. 7, ahead of this year’s CES. The exterior shots don’t show much (we brightened the image up top to get a better look), but the interior has a whopper of a screen stretching across the front of the dash. Look at this:

Illustration for article titled This Startups Electric Crossover Is All About Touch Screens
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I hope the driver doesn’t have to reach anything off to the passenger’s side, because that’s quite a stretch! Byton says the car has multiple display screens and calls the center a Shared Experience Display, and Carscoops reports it can be divided into multiple sections and show “everything from directions to people in your contact list.

There’s also a display on the steering wheel. Why? I have no idea. Byton’s framing the car as being “uniquely built for the coming era of truly shared, smart mobility and autonomous driving.” Maybe the plan is to allow for streaming of Netflix or YouTube, but then why is there a wheel?

Though there’s few details on the exterior, Byton says it’ll have front and rear LED lights and “a luminescent logo can switch to different display modes to suit different driving scenarios.”

Byton is a brand of Chinese-backed startup Future Mobility Corp, which is led by former executives from Nissan, BMW, Tesla and more. It completed a $240-million Series A funding round this past summer, reports Forbes.

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Illustration for article titled This Startups Electric Crossover Is All About Touch Screens

Byton plans to start selling the car in China in 2019; the following year, it’s aiming to expand into the U.S. and Europe. Carscoops says the car might have a range of approximately 310 miles, and it has plans to offer a sedan and MPV following the crossover’s release.

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Illustration for article titled This Startups Electric Crossover Is All About Touch Screens

The company surely knows it has sky-high expectations; similar startups like Faraday Future and Lucid Motors notably spent 2017 more focused on trying to find money to fund its ambitious car projects.

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We’re hoping to get into Vegas early enough Sunday to attend Byton’s reveal event at 6 p.m. EST. If you’re interested in following along, Byton plans to stream it on its website. I’m hoping they expand on the center display screen.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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DISCUSSION

curbwatching
curbwatching

When Tesla introduced the Model S, I predicted this kind of bullshit would happen.

Carmakers are now acting like larger is actually better when it comes to screens. The average consumer, who has always had questionable driving skill at best, looks at these cars and thinks “wow, I can play with even more toys while I’m supposed to be driving, awesome!”

Look, if people want to drive around with ugly, distracting video screens glowing in their faces, that’s up to them. But the worst thing is, this is setting a trend.

It’s always been hard to find cars that were designed well, even harder to find ones made with the driver in mind. But now, I fear that there just won’t be any cars for sale that don’t have their interiors turned into “mobile entertainment capsules” in the near future.